Friday, December 26, 2008

Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful time. The kids had a blast and it was fun to just watch them.

I decided to enjoy my holiday, treats and all, so I did. My band really helped me not eat a whole lot. It was a little frustrating not being able to eat my favorite Cardamom Bread, and getting full on the pork roast so fast, but all in all it was great. I was grateful to have the band to keep me reigned in a bit.

I've done great on my exercise. Today was particularly interesting. It was actually very invigorating. It was about 60 degrees today, so I ran outside. The exciting part is that there were 30 mph winds. It was crazy. I was aware that it was windy before I left, but it wasn't too bad the first half of the run--until I turned around, that is. The wind was coming from the side, but also from behind me a little so that when I turned around it was coming from the side, but also the front a little. I felt like I had someone tugging me backwards while I was running forwards. There were times I was almost running in place against the wind. It was hard, but awesome. I ran a total of 3.48 miles and walked another half with my warm-up and cool-down. I don't think I've run that far yet, so that's pretty great.

I think I may do a long walk tomorrow. I miss walking. It's totally different to me than running and I really enjoy it. We'll see what tomorrow brings. A cold front, supposedly, so I won't be outside most likely.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Major Milestone!

As of this morning I have lost 100 pounds! I'm so excited. 203, baby. If I follow normal patterns, my weight will go back up a couple pounds for a few days and then in another week or two I'll be back down to where I am now. But whatever. I'm at 203! I skipped 204. What an amazing day.

Yesterday we were cleaning out our closet and I started trying on some more clothes. I'm in a size L or 14 on top and still a 16 on the bottom. I also am able to fit into the dress my mom wore to my wedding and I'm wearing it to church today. It's a beautiful burgundy dress. It will fit me better in a few pounds, but I'm wearing it today anyway. It is a size 14.

I'm almost to my 11-months-from-surgery mark. I can't believe it's been that long. February 8th was my surgery date. So much has happened this year and I'm so grateful.

Yesterday I went to the GAC again and figured out that the treadmill I've been using defaults on an incline of 2. That's why it's been harder for me to run on it and why I haven't been running as fast as I'd like. I'm used to running with no incline. I'll have to see how I do next time with it on 0 incline. Maybe I'm stronger than I realize.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

GAC

The GAC is the Goodland Activities Center. It's like a local YMCA but very small. We're now members, so I can use the facilities to run. I have to time my workouts right, though because early mornings and evenings are apparently very busy. I went running on Tuesday and the place was full by the time I left.

My weight is creeping down again. It's been bouncing around so much with traveling and stuff, but I'm at a new low of 205 today. :) 98 pounds lost. I'm getting so close to that 100-lbs-lost mark as well as the Under-200 mark.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good for you, Jogger!

When we were kids, we used to laugh at joggers, mocking them. My mom got us to change that into yelling out the window, "Good for you, Jogger!" I remembered this story as I was doing my run today and could totally picture my mom, looking down from heaven and cheering me on, "Good for you, Jogger!"

Today was the first time I ran outside since the Turkey Trot. I love running outside. I love the fresh air and the wind to cool my sweat. Just love it. However, my time isn't as fast outside as it is on the treadmill.

Speaking of treadmills, I've begun to wonder if different treadmills are calibrated differently. When I run on one I can run at setting 5.5 mph, then a few days later I run on a different one and I can only handle about a 4.5. I know that my body has fluctuations in strength and endurance, but when I'm on various machines, it almost seems that it is a difference in the machine. Who knows. Bottom line is that I'm still doing it. The race came and went and I'm still running. That is amazing and awesome.

I've also had really tight muscles on the backs of my legs, (sorry, not looking up which muscles those are) to the point that when I do my after-running stretch I can't straighten them like I was able to a little while ago. I haven't been doing T-tapp as much as I used to, I think that might be part of it. I'm back on track with T-tapp right now, so I think it'll help. Plus, I'm increasing stretching after my run.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The rest of my trip

We went to St. Louis, well St. Charles, for our Thanksgiving. We made a good long trip out of it and stayed with my sister for 9 days. It was wonderful and went way too quickly.

Cyndi (my sister) and I did a pretty good job of keeping up our workouts while we were there. We ran together one day before the race, then we did the race, we also did a Work out after you Pig Out at the YMCA. That was 2 1/2 hours of aerobics/weights/etc. It was awesome and I was amazed that I could keep up for the most part. I have a hard time on the floor workouts, but overall I was happy with my performance. We also did another aerobic workout at a class at the Y and ran 5k a couple more times while we were there. I also did my t-tapp video a couple of times.

I wasn't as great with my eating during the trip and was overall disappointed in myself on that front. It's just so much fun to enjoy great food when with my family that it's hard to break that habit. All in good time, I suppose.

We had a get-together with a lot of good friends that we knew while we lived there in St. Louis. It was so fun to see people and reconnect. I had a lot of really positive feedback about my weight loss. That was fun. At church, one friend didn't even recognize me. I said hello to her and gave her a hug and another friend leaned over and said, "It's Melissa!" She was flabbergasted. She said I looked familiar but she honestly didn't know who I was. I have certainly changed.

One great highlight was clothes shopping. We went into Dress Barn and were looking around on the racks. We started to wander over to the plus size department when the sales woman told us in almost a warning voice, "That's the plus size." as if we didn't belong there.

Then, when we were in Fashion Bug, the saleslady asked if we were looking for anything specific. I told her dresses, and she said, "Okay, you'll be over here in the Misses department." I've never had that happen before! Made my day.

I really enjoyed the trip and all the fun and new things that I experienced with my new size. I swelled up in my feet and legs quite a bit, so I'm waiting until that subsides to determine how my weight loss/gain ended up from the trip. I don't think I fared too bad. I'll let you know.

More on the Amazing Race

My friend told me at church today that she's been waiting for updates on my blog, so I guess I'd better get down to business and write about my wonderful trip and how things went. I'll dedicate this entry to the race.

We got to the YMCA and picked up our numbers and shirts. The numbers have a tracking chip in them so they can accurately tell when you start and stop the race. The longer we were there, the more nervous I got because it looked like I was way out of my league! There were a lot of serious runners there. There were a lot of people in the race in general and I felt like someone was going to start singing, "Which one of these things is not like the other?" I was intimidated. I told my sister that had I been able to see that moment, I wouldn't have entered the race.

We milled around a bit and started moving toward the starting line. Well, really we just started following the crowd, assuming it would get us to where we needed to be. Here is the crowd we waited with, all of them in the race.



Brad, who had all three of our kids plus my nephew, had gone to park the car and we didn't have much hope of finding him. I just hoped he'd find me at the finish line. As we started off, we saw him off to the side and he got a couple of pictures.

Here's the starting line from Brad's perspective. The serious runners are up front.



And off we went. It was probably 5 or 10 minutes later that we passed Brad. That's me and my sister in the crowd.



You can see us better in this cropped shot:




We started off uphill. Cyndi, who is a faster runner immediately surged ahead. I found my comfortable pace and just got in my own little groove. As we started, the faster runners went on ahead and what was left behind were people more in my league. I felt better at that point.

A few minutes into the race I saw people running on what looked like a different track of a different race. I quickly realized that those were the front runners in our race, coming back around after doing a turnaround. Wow, just wow. Some people are really fast.

I ran the entire way. I was surprised how many people walked parts or all of it. Several people had their dog with them. I saw one girl in a wheelchair being pushed and wheeling herself. There were several children running with parents. There were some strollers.

I realized as we pulled in for the race that I had forgotten my music. I always feel like I need my music to run, so I was really bummed. But as we ran, I was glad to be able to listen to those around me and just take in the whole experience.

Toward the end of the race I surprised myself with a burst of speed up a hill as I passed a whole bunch of people. They passed me again a short time later on our downhill, but still, it was a fun moment.

I saw my sister who had already finished cheering me on right before I crossed the finish line. Brad and the kids were there waiting for me. Here's a picture of me just after I was done running.



They gave us water to drink. Here we are just after I finished.


It was a really cold morning. The poor kids were freezing and the babies, specifically mine, were fussing pretty good. We went to find out our results and get the food they provided, bagels and cream cheese and Sunny D to drink. Here's the result page with my result on it:



You should be able to click on it to get it to open larger. It says I placed 1905th, that my age is 36, that my chip time was 39:05 which is the time registered from the chip in my number. It also shows that my pace was 12:36 per mile. Pretty cool stuff.

I'm really glad I did the race. It wasn't all that hard in the actual doing of the running. It was just amazing to be part of it I didn't even really focus on the hills we were doing or the distance, I just did it.

Thanks, Cyndi, for doing it with me. I wouldn't have done it without you. Thanks Brad for supporting me and cheering me on. I love you guys.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Amazing Race

I did it!
Cyndi and I ran the Turkey Trot today in Chesterfield, Missouri. There were a lot of people there. I think over 7000. I finished in 39:05 minutes. I'll have to look and see which place and everything, but I was really proud of myself. Cyndi finished a lot faster than I did, she did great. I told her that my goal for next year is to beat her. That would take a lot of work, and she, of course, would have to work not very hard to allow me to catch up with her. :)

Anyway, it's off to the showers and then to finish cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I'll post pictures soon!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm ready

Today was the last time I will run before going to St. Louis for Thanksgiving. I completed the 5K again. I didn't hate it as bad as last time. One difference was this was outside and the other one was inside on the treadmill. I am finishing in right about 40 minutes. My goal for the Turkey Trot run is to finish in under 40 minutes. 39:50 would be fine with me.

I had a skinny day today. Kind of like a good hair day or bad hair day, I tend to have good body days or bad body days. I felt thinner today than yesterday. (Even though my weight had fluctuated up a bit.) I've been having lots of fat days lately, it's good to have a thin day. I'm sitting here thinking this is probably normal for normal-weight people. I've just been so big that all my days were obviously fat days. At the size I was, you don't have days where you feel small. I didn't feel smaller until I had lost a significant amount of pounds, like 40-50, I think. I'll have to go back and re-read my blog, but it was a lot.

I had some car trouble at Wal-mart today. I had to run and pick up just one thing and so I left the kids home. My oldest is almost 11, so they are fine for a few minutes. When I came out of the store my car wouldn't start. I live about 1 mile from Wal-mart and for once I wasn't worried about how I was going to get home. I knew I could easily walk home, or even run home for that matter. I was just worried about my car and how we're going to get it home (and then to St. Louis!) It was a great realization of just how far I've come. The car is fine, Brad wiggled some connections and we're in business again. Also, thanks to my sweet friend for helping me jump start and get myself home!

That reminds me of another experience I haven't written about yet. A week or so ago, we were working in the back yard, raking leaves and cleaning out the garden and this same sweet friend was there as well. She got in her car to leave (we have a driveway running along the side of our yard) and I wasn't sure if she had seen my toddler who was heading to the area right behind her car. He was standing face to face with her taillights as she started the car. I yelled to her and I think she raised her hand in acknowledgment, but when your toddler is practically kissing someone's taillights, you don't assume anything, you just move. I ran across the yard and scooped him up. Our friend pulled out and we waved. Brad said to me, "Wow, you moved fast." I hadn't even given it a second thought. This is the true reason I had this surgery, for things that really matter--to be able to rush to help your child.

My second child was a very challenging toddler and as a result I didn't go out with her if I could help it. If she bolted in the store, I knew I wouldn't be able to catch her. I knew that I couldn't stop her from running in front of that car, or just getting so far away from me that she'd be lost. That's not to say that being fit will insure that you will be able to prevent these things, but it does make your chances better.

Friday, November 21, 2008

What?

I stepped on the scale this morning and was really hoping to see 208 again. It was holding at 208 and then it jumped to 206! I weighed again to make sure and it was definitely 206. It's good to see those numbers moving again. I've been eating better and exercising pretty hard, so it makes sense. Yay! Like always, we'll see if it sticks.

After running yesterday I came home and told Brad, "I hate running!" I really don't enjoy it a whole lot. The only reason I'm doing it is to get good exercise in and to get stronger. I think most of the times I go running I have this internal battle of trying to justify some reason I can stop after 1 mile, or 1.5 miles, or 2 miles, by the time I'm close to 3 miles I stop arguing with myself, but it's an internal struggle most of the time. I guess I wouldn't be growing as much if I wasn't doing something that is hard for me. I just had to admit that, though--That I sometimes think I hate running.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hello again!

To my surprise I saw 208 again this morning. I'm relieved to be back down to where I was a few weeks ago. I didn't do anything drastic this time to get here, so I believe it will stick.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Did my 3rd 5k yesterday

I'm consistently running 5k (3.1 miles) each time I go running now. I didn't increase my speed yesterday because I opted to listen to Glenn Beck instead of music and while interesting, he doesn't get my feet pumping in quite the same way.

I've also dropped a couple of pounds finally. I'm still not back down the 208 I was at a couple weeks ago, but I'm down to 209 today. We'll see what tomorrow brings!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I did it again!

I ran 5k again today and decreased my time by about 1 minute. It was harder, I could tell. Of course the biting wind wasn't helpful.

My eating has been better today. One day at a time.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

5K

I did it! I ran 3.1 miles this afternoon. I didn't even know I was going to do it until after I had started running. I felt strong, so I figured why not, and gave it a shot. I doubted myself after finishing that I had really done that, so I went back out with the car and drove it and it was precisely 3.1 or 5K. That's so amazing to me that I can do that. Turkey Trot, here I come! By the way it took me 41 minutes to do so. That makes it about 13.2 minutes per mile. Not bad, but I can do better.

I'm so glad exercising is going well because I'm still struggling with my eating. I don't know why it's so hard for me these days. My band is just right as far as tightness goes. It's just the junk I eat in between meals that is causing me not to lose weight. I got down to 208 with the South Beach week I did, but as soon as I went off it, I went right back up and then back down the next week and then back up again. I finally accepted it and changed my ticker back. (I hate doing that when it's going the wrong direction!) I was 213 yesterday, 212 today. I need to do some soul searching and praying and find a way to be stronger with my food choices. It doesn't help that Thanksgiving is coming up and Christmas is right around the corner. Blasted food-oriented holidays!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ups and downs

It's been a roller coaster the last couple of weeks. I do great with eating one day, then the next is rough. I'm on a good day today.

I had to take an extra day off of exercising because I just felt like I was getting weaker and weaker instead of stronger and stronger. So I took Monday off and it really helped. I ran 2.6 miles today on the treadmill! I sweated so much. I sweat so much more using the treadmill verses running outside. The wind makes a difference, but that's not all, I'm sure. I must push harder when I can see the numbers. Anyway, I felt good and strong. That's in contrast to last Saturday when I could barely drag my feet. I think I was under 2 miles in the same amount of time as my 2.6 miles today. Oops. I just realized I was supposed to increase my distance and time today since it's a new week. I've got a couple more runs during which to do so, though.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Better today

I'm doing better today. Sorry for the downer post yesterday, but it's reality and sometimes reality is a downer.

I've made much better food choices yesterday and today. I didn't consciously say no sugar, but that's what's happened. Yay for that.

My feet have started swelling again. They were chronically swollen while I was so heavy, but when I started losing weight after my surgery, the swelling went away. They have been swollen now for about a week. They are bothering me, a bit painful, and I think I may go to the doctor and see if he can't figure out why the swelling--or maybe a chiropractor. We'll see.

Unrelated to that swelling, my feet have gone down 1/2 to 1 shoe size. I went to buy shoes a couple of days ago, ended up getting a size 9W (used to take a 9 1/2W) and these size 9s are a little too big. The size 8 1/2 ones were too small, so I couldn't have gotten those. Weird.

I'm about to send in my registration for the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot. Pretty exciting. I still have a ways to go to run the whole 3.1 miles. I can do it, though!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Reality of the numbers

Well my weight has been going up for a few days now. I'm back up to 212 today, which is 4 pounds up from my lowest yet. Ugh. Too much junk food over the weekend. It's amazing to me how quickly the numbers can go up. I was also coming off of the South Beach Diet week I had done, so that might have been part of what I'm rebounding from. I got all the junk out of the house yesterday and I've done really well today with no bad choices. I've got to be stronger than occasions like holidays, etc. I can't let my circumstances control my choices.

Also, my run was really hard today. Not sure why exactly. I've been taking Advil before running to avoid the headaches I got at the start of this program. Today I didn't take any, so maybe that made a difference. I did manage to run 2. 4 miles. I use the term run loosely! LOL I was literally praying a lot of the time to help me keep moving one foot in front of the other.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Increasing my running

I realized the other day that if I am going to run a 5K on Thanksgiving, that I'm going to have to step it up a bit. The couch to 5K program takes you up to running for 30 minutes. Well, I'm not getting 3.1 miles into 30 minutes of running. I run a 13.5 minute mile right now, so it's going to take me about 42 minutes to do a 5K.

I ran extra yesterday and today (Yes, I did run two days in a row to make up for missing Thursday!) and bumped it up from 25 minutes of running to 30. I'll just keep increasing as I go and by Thanksgiving I should be good to go on the 5K. Not sure how I'm going to proceed thereafter. Should I keep increasing distance, or try to increase my time for the same distance? Any advice from you who run?

I keep getting a blister on the bottom of my foot in the instep. I need to develop a callous there so that won't happen. I'd really like to splurge on some amazing running shoes or something. I have pretty good ones, but I know you can certainly spend a lot more on them. Again, any input from runners?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Exhaustion!

I've been working almost non-stop today. I was planning on running my 2 miles tonight, but I just don't have any energy (or time) left. I am reluctantly deciding not to exercise. This will only be the second time since the end of July that I've missed a workout. :( Well, actually that should be :) because I've been doing so well. I guess I'll run tomorrow and maybe Saturday as well.

Here's what my day entailed, take Adam to day care, go to work from 8-12, (doing housework for an older lady) get Adam, go home eat lunch, start preparation on the food for tonight (I'm doing the food for a local shop's open house in a week and tonight was the practice run). I started at 1:00 and wasn't done with that until 7:00. I stopped at Wal-mart on the way home, made about 100 Halloween Fingers for the kids to take to school and for Brad to take to work. I'll post pictures of them tomorrow. Right now, I'm just too tired.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Miles and Music

I drove my running route today and my pedometer is indeed correct. I've been running just under two miles in 25 minutes. I also continued driving to see how much further I need to go in order to make it 3.1 miles, or 5K. It sure seemed like a lot further to go than just another 1.2 miles. I'll get there though. Step by step.

I haven't shared my playlist here yet. I'm listening to music that has 150 BPM.

Mickey, Toni Basil
I Ran, Flock of Seagulls (I love the line in this one that says, I ran, I ran so far away. So appropriate.)
County Fair, Chris LaDeaux
Here it Goes Again, Ok Go
Little of Your Time, Maroon 5
What Goes Around Comes Around, Justin Timberlake (I got the clean version, don't know what's in the explicit one. . .and the one I got is a dance remix, type thing.)
Dance With Me Tonight, That Thing You Do--Soundtrack

I'm very pleased with this playlist. I love having music in my ears while running. In fact, I don't know if I could do it without it. I mean, I know I could, but it would be so much harder. I don't even want to try right now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Life is busy!

Wow, life has gotten really busy. I had to look at the week's schedule today and figure out how to fit my exercise in. It'll be different each day, tailored to what's going on. I'm glad to have planned that out though, because otherwise it won't happen.

I'm up to running 25 minute stretches now. I'm not sure how accurate my pedometer is, but it says I ran 1.9 miles today. When I was running 20 minutes, I thought that was 2 miles, but when we drove the course, it wasn't that long. My strides must be shorter than some because I know my beat (150 bpm) on my music isn't a very slow pace for running. I have been trying to concentrate on lengthening my stride and am able to do it in spurts.

I've decided to run a 5K with my sister in St. Louis on Thanksgiving. I'm really excited to have that tangible goal in front of me. What a thrilling day that will be. She'll probably smoke me on the race, but that's okay, as long as we're both doing it, I'll be happy. She's always been more into fitness than me, so it'll be fun to have this to share.

As I was running today a truck pulled out in front of me on the dirt road. It was far ahead so the dust it was kicking up was going to be long gone before I got there. My imagination started wandering and I wondered what I would do if someone thought it would be funny to slow down and drive right in front of me, forcing me to breathe in their dust. (Although typing this out makes me realize if they were driving slowly enough to be right in front of me at a running pace, there wouldn't be much dust. Anyway. . .) My immediate reaction was that I would turn around and run back the way I had come, to be free of their dust and to be able to continue my workout. As silly as that all is, it really showed me that I have made huge strides in choosing to be a strong person. I am taking control of my health and my body and it is amazing.

For example, the other day my mp3 player froze up and needed to be reset with a small pin-sized object in order to continue on my workout. (I NEED music!) I was already 5 minutes of warm-up walking into my workout, so I didn't want to walk home just to get a pin. Well, I was near the home of our friends so I knocked. Nobody was home. I looked around on their property for a stray safety pin or paper clip. Of course, nothing. I noticed some dried grass and picked up a good sturdy piece. It worked in the reset hole and I was able to get my music back on and get running. I was so proud of my resourcefulness and my determination to find a way to keep going. I was choosing strength instead of giving up. I now keep a paper clip on the cord of my stopwatch. :)

Some new pictures



Here are some pictures we took the other day. I'm solidly in a size 16 pants now. The stack of pants that were too tight a few weeks ago are fitting me comfortably.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Yay!

I'm down another two pounds today, for a weight of 208. I was hoping to be under 200 by Christmas, but maybe it'll be sooner. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On the move again

My weight is going down again. I'm so happy about that. The fill is helping me eat smaller portions and I'm doing phase 1 of the South Beach diet plan right now which has almost no carbs in it at all. I'm only doing this for one week, then I'll start adding back in some good carbs. I've lost 5 pounds in the last two weeks. Awesome. 210 today! Getting down there. 50 pounds left to my end goal.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

100 pounds lighter

211 this morning! My highest weight ever was 311, so I'm officially 100 pounds less than that. I've now lost 92 pounds since surgery. This is the first of my string of short-term goals. My next one is to be 203, which is 100 pounds since surgery, then 199, of course, to be under 200. Then whatever Brad weighs, I want to be less than him, with a final goal of 160 or so. I may reevaluate that when I get there, but that's smack dab in the middle of a healthy bmi for my height. Once I'm under the 200 mark, I think my bmi goes from being considered obese to merely overweight. That'll be a nice jump to make. So happy this beautiful morning!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Victorious

I ran for 20 minutes today--approximately 2 miles. It was amazing. When I saw the 20:00 on the stop watch, I started to tear up, realizing I had done it. Once I got home, I totally burst into tears, crying, "I did it!" and Brad was there to give me a supportive and happy hug as I cried a little more. It's such a monumental accomplishment for me. I'm even tearing up a little now. I used to not even be able to run into the store from the rain, or run after my running toddler and today I ran for 20 minutes. My life has changed and I feel so strong. I'm so grateful.

Yesterday we went to Denver for me to get a fill. The surgeon determined that my port has become detached from my abdominal wall. It's stitched into place at surgery, so somehow, it's no longer stationary. He said he could feel it moving around and had a little bit of a hard time finding it. He was successful, however at getting the fluid in. He said if he's unable to access it in the future, that he will have to go in and reattach it. I'm wondering if I want to wait for problems to arise or perhaps just have him fix it sooner rather than later.

Woman stuff ahead: you've been warned!
I'm also thrilled that I've gotten my period back. I been on birth control pills since I had Adam which basically makes your period hormonally forced, so I've never known if my body is actually working properly and ovulating, or just responding to the hormones. I stopped taking them last month and so this is the first real one. I haven't had a normal, regular period since before I became pregnant with my oldest child who is now almost 11, so it's been a really long time since this part of me was normal. If you don't know, menstruation can stop because of an unhealthy body weight, either too high or too low. So this is another victory for me, to be at a healthy enough weight to menstruate. It might sound wierd, but I'm very happy to have this normal part of womanhood again.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Looking to the future

I have a lot of time to think while I'm out walking and running. The other day I realized that I have a very strong desire to hike Mount Timpanogos aka Timp. It has a big history in my family.

My father used to be a tour guide for groups going up the mountain in his teenage years. He also painted at least one painting of the mountain, probably more than that. One of which hung in our home all through my childhood.

Also, there is a photograph of my sweet mother as a teenager on a hike with my dad. I'm not sure if it was taken on Timp, but I'd like to think it was, but even if it was somewhere else, there's a Mom connection there. (My mother died ten years ago.)

The thing that got me thinking about this is a stack of pictures I found the other day of my husband, father, and brothers, along with one of their future wives, hiking Timp. The scenery is so beautiful! It's just breathtaking and amazing and for so many years it hasn't even been a possiblity for me, due to my physical limitations. Suddenly it's a real possibility to be fit enough to do this hike and actually enjoy it.

Brad would be an amazing hiking partner and I know he would help me through the hard parts so I would feel safe and be safe.

Hiking and running were always two things that I've hated. Running because it was just so hard on my body and hiking because it was just hard and I get scared in precarious situations. Looking back at running, I am enjoying doing it because of the accomplishment. It's not that I'm actually loving the act of running, so much, as I am enjoying the fact that I'm doing it. Hiking I can see why it would be fun, with the whole beauty surrounding it. I suppose it could still be scary, but as long as we do it safely, and my husband does, I think I can do it.

Now, I'm not sure when I'll be back in Utah, we were there this summer and unless we end up moving there, it may be a while before we can get back there. But as soon as it's a possibility, I want to plan an actual date for the hike. I would really love it if all my family came too. Wouldn't that be awesome? Anyone game?

I am runner hear me breathe (heavily)!

I feel sooo good about my run today. It's becoming more run than walk, so I'm going to call them my runs from now on. I'm on Week 5, day 2 of the Couch to 5K program, which is:

Walk 5 min
Run 8 min
Walk 5 min
Run 8 min

This week's days are all different, increasing in intensity. Day 3 (Saturday, this week) is to walk 5 minutes, Run 20 minutes with no walking. It will be a challenge, but I'm totally up for it. I felt like I worked hard and pushed myself today, like I haven't done yet. I was sweating so much and breathing very hard. It was great and I feel so victorious!

I lost another pound, putting me at a total of 90 pounds lost so far. Yay! 90 pounds in just over 9 months. The weight loss is certainly slowing down during these later months, but it's a great result so far and I couldn't be happier.

Well, I could be happier if I wasn't fighting the urge to eat a lot of sugar and carbs right now! Well not right now, right now, just now in general. I think the last couple of weeks have been harder than any time since my surgery in February. My meal choices are still right on target, but after lunch for some reason, it's like I get started eating with my meal and can't stop looking for treats and things to have afterward. This is the main reason I have realized that I need a fill! I'm so glad that it's happening tomorrow.

I am also going to do the South Beach Diet plan starting on Monday. I'm hoping to retrain my body to not depend on sugar and carbs. South Beach has you eat basically lean protein and veggies to start with. The plan is basically laid out here if you're interested.

I'm not sure of the whole science behind this, but somehow, even with worse eating, I've been still able to have my weight go down. When it works in my favor, I won't question it--just enjoy it. I'm sure the exercising is helping. Finally. :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

I scheduled a fill

I was up another two pounds today for some reason. I'm really not happy about that. I'm 4 pounds higher than my lowest weight of 214. I was hoping to see it go down today, not up. So, I called Dr. Metz's office and scheduled an appointment for a fill next Friday. I'm definitely able to eat more than I probably should be, so hopefully this will help kickstart the weight loss again.

I got my exercise done today, but it was much harder because I did it this afternoon. It's so much easier when I do it first thing in the morning. Tomorrow I'll be exercising about 5:30 a.m., so that's pretty much first thing.

I prepared a whole bunch of grilled chicken today on my friends' grill. I marinated thirteen chicken breasts in teriyaki and they turned out great! I'm going to freeze some of it to use for meals over the next while. We're also eating it for dinner tonight. Yay for convenient food that is healthy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Week 4

I started my fourth week of Couch to 5 K this morning. It is so much harder than week 3. But I'm up to the challenge. Here's the workout:

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2 minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
So I jogged 1.5 miles today, broken up of course. Very cool!

My weight is giving me troubles. I dropped a couple of pounds during the week, but as of the official weigh in day, I've lost no pounds this week. I guess that's better than gaining. I think I must need a fill. I'm trying to decide if I should get it before the holidays or after. If I wait, I may gain some, if I don't, then I risk not being able to eat much holiday food, which might not be a bad thing. We'll see.

Edited to add: I was just looking over my weekly weight loss chart and it's interesting to see that I've been bouncing up and down for several weeks now, but the overall trend is downward. That is interesting and somewhat comforting.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I hit the floor!

And it's a good thing. :) Hit the Floor is the workout video I tried to do a few days ago and found it to be really hard. I was determined not to let it get the best of me. I asked my sweet husband to help me by sitting with the remote and helping me pause or back up where I needed to. He helped me make sure I was doing the moves as correctly as possible, given my strength level. It made such a difference having him here helping me. It was still really hard, but I didn't stare at the screen without trying on any of the moves this time. Thank you, Brad!

We took progress pictures again. Yesterday was my 8 month mark. What an amazing 8 months this has been. I will add the pictures to the slideshow and post a few others that we took yesterday as well. I'm wearing a woman's size 16 in these pictures. I hadn't realized I was down to that size, quite yet, but I am. I started in a 26/28.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Strength

I feel so blessed. As I was doing my run/walk this morning, I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for where I am. I really feel that the whole Lapband surgery and following changes I've been able to make has been a gift from God. I feel that the desire and ability to do this exercise so diligently and not lose motivation has been divinely given. I'm pleased with myself for the effort I've put forth, but more than that, I feel that the ability to do so has been from His strength. I have wanted to do these things before, but never before has it clicked like it's clicking now. I prayed for years that I could find a way to lose weight and get healthy. My prayers have been answered and I feel that I must give praise to Him for this amazing journey I'm on.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Biggest Loser: Families (spolier, don't read if you don't want to know.)

We finished TBL:Families episode for this week last night. I was so sad to see Jerry go, but so happy when the follow-up segment showed how far he has come. I truly want these people to get healthy and lose that weight. I think his daughter, Colleen is amazing and I loved how his perspective on who should stay really took into consideration that this could really change her life at her very young age.

I'm really enjoying this show. It's motivating. I want to see more differences in their bodies, but I know that will come.

Sparkpeople.com has a couple of very interesting articles about The Biggest Loser. The first one is highlighting the great things we can learn about weight loss from the show. The second one is to warn us of some of the unrealistic things about the show and how to avoid comparing ourselves to those situations.

Marching band ruined me for running

Well, sort of. I cannot run (or even walk for that matter)to music unless my feet are hitting the ground right on the beats. I attribute this to those four years of marching band. It's even so bad, that sometimes I feel like my feet are not on the right part of the beat, like the right foot should come down on the first beat of the measure, not the left. So I have to do an awkward skip to switch feet. Band geek, through and through, I suppose.

The reason this creates a problem is that I have to be very specific about which songs I can use on my MP3 player for my workout since the song essential controls how fast my feet move. Right now I am using Maroon 5 songs: I use one for the walking parts and the other one for the running parts. I'm not completely sick of them yet, but I have already made up my playlists for the next 3 weeks, just using those songs, so I very likely will be sick of them. But, as long as they are the right tempo for me, I'm glad to have them.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm back together with Mr. Scale

At least for this week. I didn't like my weekly weigh-in result, (+1 pound) so I asked Brad to leave the scale out. I'm glad I did because this morning I was down two from yesterday, with a new low weight of 89 pounds lost. I like that a lot.

The weight loss has sure slowed down since my 6 month mark. I want to just be patient about it and not stress too much. I know I'm living in a healthy manner and will continue to do so. I just hope that my body continues to shed the weight.

I'm on my third week of Couch to 5 K. This week the plan is:
Walk for 5 minutes
Then do the following two times through:
Run for 90 seconds
Walk for 90 seconds
Run for 3 minutes
Walk for 3 minutes


I didn't know if I was going to be able to handle running for 3 minutes, but I surprised myself at how strong I am. I even ran an extra set of 90 seconds because the workout ended before I was home.

I did a new T-tapp workout called Hit the Floor this morning. It totally kicked my butt. It was so hard. It's going to take a lot of trying before I'm strong enough to do it, but I sure could use some toning in my lower body, so hopefully I can work up to being able to do the workout properly. For now, I'll just do my best and yell at Teresa while I try to follow her moves. :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Saturday

I'm out of clever names for posts. Today is Saturday, thus the title. :)

I felt stronger during my jogging this morning. I've completed a second week of Week 2 and will step up to week 3 on Tuesday. I just need to work out the music thing, because it will be different. I should just take an afternoon and make up music lists for all of the remaining weeks in this program. We'll see.

I can't believe that September is almost over. I'm nervous for the weather to turn colder. I need to figure out a plan B for that, because right now I'm just jogging on the streets and while I'll be fine if it's chilly, I won't be if it's snowy and icy.

I have a friend who lives around the corner who offered to let me use her treadmill on such days. I need to take her up on that and get that organized.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Plugging along

Sorry I haven't been updating my blog very often. We've been sick, and trying to bounce back, dealing with a teething toddler. Seriously, it's taking it's toll on all of us. I hope he cuts those molars soon.

I lost another couple of pounds this week. Yay! I've still been exercising. Some days I feel stronger than others. Today was rough, it was all I could do to barely jog the jogging parts of my routine. I hope Saturday is easier. It may be because of my monthly cycle. I seem to have a harder time exercising when I'm on my period. Good thing it's only once a month. :)

I'm off to bed, hoping that Adam doesn't wake up every hour through the night like last night. Ugh!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I missed my first day of exercise!

Saturday was to have been my third day of Couch to 5K for this week. I woke up stomach sick at 4 a.m. and needless to say I wasn't up to even sitting up for the whole day, let alone walking and jogging. I slept most of the day.

I don't know if I need to repeat week 2 or move on to week 3 of the program. I suppose I can always try week 3 and if it's too hard, I can back up to week 2.

My girls and I were all sick. It had to be something we ate the day before. I'm thinking the bit of raw cookie dough we snitched must have been the culprit. Although, the girls literally only had as much as was on a beater. Ugh. Not pretty. They were just as sick or sicker even, than I was.

The good experience in all of this is the priesthood blessing I was given by my husband while I was vomiting. As soon as I started I asked him to give me a blessing because the band can slip with excessive vomiting and necessitate a surgery to fix it. So Brad gave me a blessing while I was heaving. It subsided immediately and didn't return. I was so grateful for that. I continued being sick the other direction, but that's not hazardous to the band, just miserable for other reasons. :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Biggest Loser: Families. . some thoughts but no spoilers

I watched the first episode of The Biggest Loser this week. I haven't ever watched this show before. A few things struck me.

First of all, Jillian and Bob are mean! I can't believe some of the things they do to push these guys. I know they mean well, but seriously, I couldn't handle being treated that way. What I did take away from that, though, is that I could push myself harder when I work out. I've never exercised hard enough to make myself puke and don't want to, but I could do more.

Secondly, this show is going to be good to help me continue to motivate myself to keep going. There are women on there that weigh less than I do, so that helps me realize there is still so much work to be done. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not discounting all the progress I've made and how much I've changed, but I do appreciate the reminder that I can keep going and get to a healthier and slimmer self.

Thirdly, I really didn't want anyone to get voted off! It was horrible to realize someone would only get one week of this experience when all of them wanted and needed the effects of the show. I felt a little better when they show you at the end where those people are now and that they've continued getting healthier.

Also, it was interesting to me how many of these parent/child pairs have such similar body types. Almost like twins on a couple of them. They have to fight genetics as well as bad habits.

I'm looking forward to following this season of this show.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I survived

I survived the morning workout this morning and I even moved on to Week 2 of the Couch to 5K. I did get the music thing figured out and it was so awesome to have the music doing my timing for me. When the song switched I knew to switch between running and walking. I loved it. I'm going to do one for each week of this program and its different schedules.

This week's schedule is 5 minutes warm up followed by 20 minutes of alternating 90 seconds running and 2 minutes walking.

Bummer is that I was up one pound this morning from last week's weigh in. I was hoping to see consistent loss, but alas that is not the case.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Keeping on

I don't have a lot of new stuff to post about, but things are still going well. I guess there was something noteworthy yesterday.

We periodically have potluck dinners after church. Yesterday we had one. I ate my meal, feeling a bit conspicuous because I was eating a bit more than I usually do at home. Then I looked around at others' plates. They were filled up with lots of food, just how I did before my surgery. My portion was significantly smaller than theirs or mine pre-surgery. So, while it was a bit of an indulgence, it was still in moderation. That's why I love this band.

I need to figure out how to customize my walking/running music mix. With the Couch to 5K program it would be ideal to have 90 seconds of one song, followed by 2 minutes of another song, at the appropriate tempos for running and walking. I'm a bit of a circus show with my stopwatch in one hand, my mp3 player in the other, switching things around every time I switch from running to walking or vice versa. I have the songs I want, I just don't know how to save just part of the song. Off to google it, I guess.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Feeling reflective today

With it being September 11th today, I'm feeling an acute awareness of the significance of that day. The memories are not hard to recall and the feelings I felt that day come right back to the surface. I'm so grateful no other major attacks have been carried out on our soil and that my family has been safe.

On a lighter note, I did my second day of CT5K this morning. It was a tad easier, though still good and challenging. I'll have to see how Saturday goes before I decide if I'm going to advance to week two, or repeat week one next week.

I have honestly never been so comitted to, or excited about exercise before in my whole life. I think it's because this is the first time I have seen physical results of that exercise. It's so motivating! I'm so glad that I've been able to make the switch from being a non-exerciser to being a legitimate exerciser.

Brad likes to ask me, "Hey, you work out?" He got it from this video:

>

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

First day of Couch to 5K

I don't know what kind of couch potato they are targeting, but that workout was definitely not something I could have done a few months ago. Maybe even a month ago. Here's what week 1 entails: Brisk five-minute warm up walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

It was hard! It was ever so much more vigorous than the walking I've been doing, even though that has been very brisk and pushing myself faster and faster.

So for this program I'm supposed to do that three times a week, which works out great because I do that on the day that I do the shorter T-tapp workout. So I do long workout, short walk one day, then short workout, long walk, or now the CT5K program on the next.

I did get a headache right off, during the first 60 seconds of running. I'm going to try to remember to take ibuprofen before I go next time. But other than that, I'm not sore or anything. Feels good to have done that today!

I'm so happy!

I just had to post this first thing this morning!

I have to admit I was very nervous to step on the scale this morning. It's been a week since weighing and I was scared that it would have gone up. Well, it didn't and I'm down 3 pounds. It looks like the plateau is broken! I'm so glad. I've been a little looser with my eating, letting myself get in a few more calories than I was a little while back. So I think a combination of upping my calories and my exercise finally kicking in has been the key. I'm just so happy. :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Surreal

So I was cleaning out my closet this afternoon and started going through a box I've had for years, marked, "Melissa's Hopefuls "which contained some of my more favorite "skinny" clothes. They were from my single years, and early marriage years. Guess what? Every single one of them fit. Some were a little snug, but everything in there I could wear. I was really surprised. I've heard people say this before, but it really is puzzling when it's me experiencing it: I weighed about 30 pounds less than I do now when I was wearing these things. Maybe I'm more dense with muscle or something, but anyway, I no longer have clothes that I used to wear that I'm too big for. It floors me. I still have clothes that my friend has given me to shrink into, but not my old clothes anymore.

Weekend is here

I'm glad today is Saturday. It's a much-needed break from the everyday.

Yesterday it was raining. I still did my inside workout, but didn't go walking. Today I did both and the walk felt so good. I stepped it up and walked the fastest part of my walk to A Little of Your Time by Maroon 5. Holy moly! I didn't know I could walk that fast. It makes all my other music feel so slow in comparison. I usually use Blake Lewis' She's Making Me Lose It for my fastest song. I guess I'm increasing in intensity. I have to remember to start the Couch to 5K thing on Monday. That should be interesting.

We took my measurements yesterday. I've lost 1.5 inches off my hips in the last two weeks. My arms are smaller, my thighs, and my waistline. All in the last two weeks. So I was right about inch loss happening, even if the scale isn't moving. I haven't been on the scale since Tuesday. I'm anxious to see what it will show next Tuesday. I'm glad I don't even know where the scale is because I would certainly break down and use it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Couch to 5k

I think next week I'm going to start implementing the Couch to 5K program. It eases you into running bit by bit. I'm fit enough that I think I can do it without too much trouble, although today my legs were really hurting me on my walk. It's not usually that way, so I'm not too worried.

The Couch to 5K program is supposed to be 3 days a week which works out well with my schedule, since three of my walks are intended to be longer, and more strenuous. I'm still going to walk on the off days, just not add the running, I suppose.

I'm feeling great and happy.

New features added

I just wanted to direct your attention to a few new features I added:

The coolest ones are the little slideshows on the right side. I added one of before shots. I hate looking at those pictures, but it really serves the purpose of showing just how far I've come, especially if someone doesn't know me in real life.

I also have progress picture slide shows from the front and from the side. I love how you can just watch them morph into the new me. I'll continue to add the newest shots to those.

I also added an option for you to subscribe to my blog. I'm not exactly sure how it works, but you can choose to either be notified of the new posts, or every single comment. I hope you find that helpful.

I also have started a list of favorite websites, but that's nothing new, most blogs have those.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Guess why I'm smiling. . .



This is me wearing my husband's pants. The pair he wears all the time. They have a 36 inch waist. I was able to get them buttoned and zipped with no trouble at all. They're not as baggy on me as they are on him, but they weren't tight. I can hardly believe it! I've never been able to put a pair of my husband's pants on before! What a fun surprise.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Freedom

There was a measure of freedom today with not weighing.

I woke up and thought, What the heck, I'm going to weigh just to see. Well, Brad did his job and hid the scale, so I couldn't. Good man. It was nice not to have those numbers bugging me all day.

I just realized that tomorrow is Tuesday, so I will do my weekly weigh then, but then back away with the scale.

I'm still really enjoying the T-tapp and walking. I do feel muscles that I haven't in a while. My thighs (quads, I think) and my waist both have more muscles under the fat, but I can really feel them. I was really thinking today about muscle weighing more than fat and realizing that I believe that is happening to my body. I know that I'm developing more muscles and that they must weigh more. Now, I just want to see them turn into the promised fat-burning machine and get the rest of this excess weight off of me.

I set my monthly exercise goal high, 26 days. That's every day but Sundays. That's what I did in August, so why not?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm breaking up with my scale

Well, cutting back on how often we see each other anyway. I'm going to have to cut down to once a week because the number game is starting to mess with my mind.

I've been enjoying my pants being baggier, my daughter, Hannah being able to get her arms further around me than ever before, feeling new muscle definition and feeling great about my physical strength more so than ever before. Then I step on the scale and today I'm back to that blasted 222 mark and I feel deflated. Why? It's just numbers. I am seeing progress in my body, so why do the dang numbers matter?

So I asked Brad to hide the scale and bring it out only on Tuesdays. That's my official weekly weigh day, so I'll just stick to that day for weighing.

I've always said that if it starts messing with my mind, I'd cut back. Well, I'm there. My scale and I may be able to resume a more serious relationship in the future, but he's going to have to start showing me that he can change before that happens. :)

I had two people independently call me "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" today at church. One hadn't seen me in months and the other one had been a few weeks, I think. The one who hadn't seen me in months said she hadn't even recognized me at first. :) That's fun.

So for now, I will continue exercising and eating well, but not obsess about the numbers on the scale. On the 5th we'll take progress pictures and measurements and that will be a good indicator of whether or not things are moving along as well.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Good to be back to regular eating

I ate my normal way again today. It was good to get back to how things are supposed to be. Also, I was still at 219 today, so maybe that weight loss will stick and even continue! Here's hoping.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Various pics



My girls and me at the county fair. I felt so much more alive this year than last year. I enjoyed a few rides and just had a great time.



Brad and I dressed up for a baptism yesterday.



I did my hair differently for a change yesterday. I included this picture so you can notice the pants bagging a bit. These are the ones that were recently still snug. :)

Explanation needed

I just realized I posted that whole thing about eating crappier and didn't explain why I'm doing it. I thought maybe I had already explained it on the blog, but looking back it looks like I didn't, at least not in the last few days.

It's a common theme that people find one way to break a plateau is to eat higher calories for a couple of days, over a weekend or something, and then back to regular eating on day three. Something about revving up your metabolism or something consistently seems to help. I figured why not give it a try after a month of plateau.

So that's what this is all about, me upping calories for a couple of days in order to break this plateau. Let's hope it's wildly successful. :)

Interesting

I ate out for two meals yesterday, so toward the end of the day I figured I'd make that day one of crappier eating, hoping to break my plateau.

So, before grocery shopping, I stopped at Dairy Queen and got a small Blizzard (ice cream). It was the first time since my surgery that I've done so. I honestly didn't want anyone to see me eating it. I thought, "This is just not representative of me and how I eat, I don't want someone to judge me on this one snapshot of me." I live in a small town and lots of people are aware of my surgery, etc. So I sat in my car and ate it.

It was yummy for the first 1/3 of it. By about 1/2 way I wished I was home so I could stick it in the freezer for later or pass it off to my husband. I wasn't able to finish it and ended up throwing the last bit away. I felt like crap after eating it. I had to walk around Wal-mart feeling like that. I wondered if I always felt like that pre-band, because I ate like that often. I also started getting gassy, which I used to be all the time, pre-band, but haven't been nearly as much since being banded.

As I wandered the isles at the store, I tried to pick out some high calorie treats to eat today. I was just not that interested, especially since I had just done so and now wasn't liking the feeling. I did manage to find a few things, but overall I was so pleased that I couldn't bring myself to go all out. I honestly want to eat the healthier things, not just because I'm supposed to. That felt so good to me.

I'm 219 today. I haven't seen that weight yet before today. I'm waiting to celebrate too hard, though, to see if it's for real. If it sticks and/or continues to go down, then I'll be very excited.

I do think that my measurements are continuing to get smaller because I noticed yesterday that a pair of pants that has been snug on me were sliding down a bit. I've also noticed certain parts of me looking smaller, like my forearms and my shoulders looking a bit more narrow. I am feeling good about myself and I'm happy that I seem to be getting through this plateau thing without getting too discouraged.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The P word

The dreaded Plateau! I am ready to admit that I have hit one. A serious one. I hit 222 pounds on August 3rd and am stuck there still. I've had some fluctuations of a pound or two up and down, but I've pretty much stayed right around 222 since then. Maybe my body just likes the nice even number that 222 is. It's easy to type, don't even have to look. Just 222. Unfortunately, I'd like to never see it on my scale again!

It's not uncommon for people to hit plateaus when losing weight. Among banded people it seems to hit at about 6 months out. That would be just right for this plateau. I just have to figure out what to do with it. Do I just shrug and not worry about it and keep doing what I should be doing with eating and exercise? Do I re-evaluate what I am doing and check to see if it needs changing? I think my answer for now is to go read the message boards and pay close attention to talk about plateaus and how they ended up being broken. I'll let you know what I learn.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bumps and sizes


I was looking at my upper arm and wondering what that bump was. Guess what? It's a muscle! I'm getting some definition in my arms. I think it's the tricep muscle. How cool is that? I honestly don't remember seeing a physical difference in my body from exercising before. Ever. This is very motivating and I don't feel like yelling at Teresa on my T-tapp video as much anymore. She's helping me get fit, and I'm so glad.

My wedding dress (in 1996) was rented, so I don't have that anymore. I do have the dress I wore for our wedding luncheon right after the temple ceremony. I tried it on to see how much further I have to go before I could wear it. It fit! I couldn't believe it. It's a size 14. I fit into a size 14! It was still significantly tighter than when I wore it before, but it fits and buttons up and everything.

As exciting as it was, it left me a little weirded out. What size am I? I am still wearing a size 20 pair of jeans, my tops are about a 16, while 16 jeans are too small still, I could probably wear most 18s. I just am not really sure where I fit in the clothing size world. Those numbers don't matter, really, but it is a part of my identity a little, to know what size I am. Oh well. It's a fun development, anyway.

I'm still as committed as ever to doing my exercise. I need to start by getting to bed early so I can get up early enough to do the workout before Brad leaves for work. Tomorrow that's 5:40 a.m. That's when he leaves! So I need to get some good sleep and get up early enough.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My answers to a thought-provoking poll

Someone posted this on a lapbandtalk.com forum. Here are my responses.

1. What have you learned about yourself since you have been banded? I have learned that I am capable of living a healthy life and that it's not just for anal-retentive thin people. I have discovered that I was actually eating a very unhealthy diet and learned how to change that.

2. What has surprised you most about being banded? How easy it has been. I am not throwing up all the time or getting food stuck because I've done fairly well at a medium-to-loose fill.

3. What foods do you miss that you can't/won't eat anymore? I haven't discovered anything that I can't eat, but a big ol' bowl of popcorn or ice cream, or a stack of cookies are things I won't allow myself, but sometimes wish I could.

4. Do you regret being banded? Heavens, no.

5. Would you recommend the band to anyone? I would recommend to people that need it that they research the band and see if it might be a good option for them. I wouldn't try to convince anyone because it is a serious surgery. My success has been a huge testimonial for others.

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything? I would go with a different surgeon. My surgery was great, post-op guidance was lacking. Nutritional support was weak.

7. Would you do it all over again? In a heartbeat.

8. Has your self esteem improved? Yes, drastically.

9. Has being banded changed your personality? Being fat changed my personality. Losing that fat is bringing out my original personality. It's like finding myself again, when I didn't know I was lost.

10. What do you dislike about being banded? Trying to figure out if I have the correct amount of fill. Stressing over whether or not I need another one when I might just be at a natural plateau.

Goals met and new ones in sight

I met my exercise goal for August today. I will surpass it by 5 or 6 days by the end of the month. I had originally only planned on exercising on weekdays, but I've been able to do Saturdays as well. I don't plan on cutting back any time soon. I'm doing the T-tapp workout as well as walking, most days. I love using my mp3 player while walking. It's like the beat of the music propels me as I go. I love it.

My weight went back down those two pesky pounds. I'm at my lowest weight-to-date again. (On this weight loss journey, I mean. Of course I've weighed less before. I didn't come into the world at this weight!)

It dawned on me the other day that I'm getting pretty close to being 100 pounds down from my all-time high of 311. I was 303 the day I started my pre-surgery diet, so I've been reckoning by that weight and will continue to do so. But, before I got pregnant with Adam I was 311, so in just a few pounds, like 9, I'll be 100 pounds lighter than my heaviest. That is amazing!

My next goals are: 211, 203 (my official 100 pounds lost weight), 199 (or Onederland as the bandsters call it), and then to be lower than my husband weighs, which is around 185. He fluctuates a lot within about 10 pounds, so that goal will have to be to get less than his lowest usual fluctuation. Then of course, my final goal which is 160 pounds which would put me within the healthy BMI range.

I'm feeling more at peace about my fill and my exercise and not losing weight as fast as I think I should. I'm still going down, just a little slower. If I was giving someone else advice, I'd tell them to be sure to take into account the fact that exercising builds muscle which weighs more than fat, etc. It's just hard when it's your own weight situation to take that same advice. Thanks for everyone who is helping to remind me of those things.

I think I'm at a better amount of restriction than I had realized. I have felt the band more often lately as I'm eating solid foods like chicken, or beef. I am not going to worry about getting another fill just yet.

I've added a little traffic counter to monitor how much traffic my blog gets. I have a link on a couple of different places, so I was curious. I had 32 visitors yesterday, with only one of them being a return visitor. I put the counter on there in the evening yesterday, so that's pretty dang good. It's more people than I had realized were reading, that's for sure. You can click on view stats to see the info. It's pretty interesting.

I'm writing this to explain why my writing style may have changed a bit and instead of just writing this blog to friends and family, it's becoming more public. I'm okay with that as long as people are interested in reading it. I've gotten a lot of feedback about people feeling inspired by reading, so as long as it's doing some good, I'm willing to share. So welcome to you, whoever you are.

Also, I'm not entirely sure what blog etiquette would dictate, but I'm not often responding to comments because I'm not sure that that person expects it or would come back to see if I had responded. Please tell me if I'm wrong and being rude. If I'm asked a question, I'll respond, usually. Just know that I appreciate the positive comments and encouragement that are posted.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Restriction

I'm still trying to feel out how good my band restriction is. I had to eat very slowly on all three meals today, or else the food would have gotten stuck. I am liking that because it shows that I do have some good restriction.

My weight has crept back up a couple of pounds. In fact, other than losing a little bit after my fill, my weight has really stayed about the same ever since I started exercising. I know I've lost some inches from taking measurements, but the numbers on the scale are not going down as steadily.

It's hard to know if I'm doing something wrong or if I'm simply at a plateau which does happen when you're losing weight. I think I need to be more patient. I've been a little spoiled by my weight coming off so consistently that I want it to keep doing that! I'm making good food choices for most of my food. I do allow a treat here and there, but I don't think it's more than I should be doing.

The thing is, that even though it's a little frustrating, it's not a big deal. I'm in this for the long haul and so day by day, I make the best choices I can with my fitness and my food. I'll keep on trucking.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First day of school

Today was my girls' first day of school--grades 5 and 3! They ride the bus, so I walked them to the bus stop and then continued on to a full walk on my usual route. Adam even behaved himself in the stroller. Last time he screamed half the way, which was a really long time. He's 18 months old as of today. :)

I was reflecting on this time of year last year. One of the neighborhood moms walked her kids to the bus stop every day and I was so not interested in getting out and doing that. This year it was a no brainer. What a difference a year has made. Actually, it's been the difference the last six months have made.

I am now wondering if I need another fill to get to a tighter spot. I would like to get full quicker than I am. Things can loosen up a few days after a fill. I'm not even a week out, so I'll have to see what my weight does over the next couple of weeks. I don't want to restrict myself from eating, but unless my weight continues going down, I'm probably eating too much.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm loving this fill!

So far this is going really well. I was full on half the food I've been eating lately and stayed full for several hours. That's what I'm talking about! All my fretting was in vain, because it seems like we got to just the right spot. Now we'll have to see how things go once I start eating chicken and fish and the like, but tonight I had ground beef in my Lasagna in a Bowl (I'll put that on my food blog) and it went down fine. That's on the approved list of soft foods for days 3 and 4 after a fill.

Happy day!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dr. Metz

Just wanted to report in about my appointment on Friday. I loved Dr. Metz! He did such a great job and took a lot of care to make sure I didn't get too full. He was very professional, and treated me with respect and kindness.

He got me on one stick of the needle, after having numbed me up a bit. (Awesome!) He was also very kind and personable with the radiology staff, which I appreciated. Brad came with me to everything and he seemed really interested and excited to see what went down. He hadn't been able to come to a fill appointment with me yet.

I really loved talking to the nutritionist afterwards. When you have a fill with him, you automatically get an appointment with a nutritionist. I love that. This was hands down my favorite nutritionist appointment I've ever had. She was realistic and very down to earth.

Dr. Metz's nutritional guidelines are very different from Dr. Mel's. They encompass so many healthy things that I've been omitting. His meal options include whole grains, fruits and vegetables and even healthy fats. These are things I would have liked to include in my diet (Though I have been eating fruits and vegetables), but have been hesitant to because of my guidelines.

They don't advocate a certain number of carbs or fats, just focusing on proteins, 60 g a day as well as eating a fruit and/or vegetable and a whole grain at every meal, and having just three meals and one snack.

This is much more in line with how I feel about food. I am really excited about incorporating these things once I'm on solid food again. It takes a couple of days of mushy food, then a couple of days of soft foods before you should eat regularly again after a fill.

There's a woman who posts at lapbandtalk that is at her goal weight and has been for years. She advocates eating whole grains and says she feels so much fuller on them than she does on just protein. So I'm going to give this whole thing a try. As long as I'm able to have good weight loss with it, I'll go for it. If it doesn't work, then I'll have to rethink things again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August Progress Pictures (February/August Comparison)




Fill Scheduled

I have a fill scheduled this Friday in Denver with a new surgeon, Dr. Metz. My own surgeon is moving to Pennsylvania and that day would be his last day in the office. I want someone to fill me that will be around for follow-up if needed.

I have talked with Dr. Metz and told him of my fear of being overfilled. He's going to use an x-ray machine to do my fill. He has ordered an upper GI and then he'll do the fill in conjunction with that. That way he can get a good look at my band and make sure he doesn't get it too full. I'm hoping it works. I've gone back and forth so much about this fill, but looking at my weekly weight loss chart, my weight loss has slowed down a lot over the last month on a weekly basis. I think a fill is what I need to get that consistent weight loss again.

I've been doing great on my exercise. Other than Sundays, which I take off, I haven't missed a day of exercising since July 28th. It feels good to finally be getting it into my life. I've been wanting to, but just not doing it up till now.

I got out my box of size 16 clothes that were too small a few weeks back. The shirts now fit me. The pants are still a little too tight to wear, but they're not too far off. So fun to make progress in clothing sizes.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I went jogging!

Last night and this morning, during my daily walk I actually jogged a fair portion of the time. Not even half or anything, but more than just a little bit. I am so proud of myself. I wouldn't have thought I'd be jogging at least not at this point in my life. It's awesome to step things up and feel strong enough to do so. I need some new shoes.

I'm trying to work out whether or not I need another fill. I am hungry more than I used to be and my thoughts go to food a lot more lately. (At good restriction, that's not usually a problem.) My weight loss seems to be slowing down and not be as consistent as I'm used to. I am, however, afraid of being over filled. I see so many people have their bands so much fuller than I would be comfortable with. So do I keep trying to hang in there where I'm at, or take the risk of getting another fill? We'll see.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monthly Loss Totals

In three days, I will hit my six-month mark. I count all my weekly and monthly totals from today, though, because that's the day I started my pre-op diet and that's when I started losing weight. It's all part of the surgery process in my mind, so I include it. I wasn't losing weight prior to that date.

I thought I would list off the monthly totals so far on my weight loss:
Month 1 lost 30
Month 2 lost 13
Month 3 lost 10
Month 4 lost 10
Month 5 lost 9
Month 6 lost 9

These are measured according to my scale at home, on the 5th of each month. If I keep this pace up I'll be at goal in right around a year from my surgery, or a month later. I've been told that it gets increasingly hard and that the weight loss will slow down, so I may have to work harder to get that to happen.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

And Mercifully back down again!

Well, I'm back at the 80-pounds-lost mark, and happy about that. And tomorrow's fast Sunday and my track record for that is usually a two pound loss, so here's hoping. (And no, that's not why I'm fasting. :))

I'm putting forth more effort now than I have since being banded. Yesterday was great eating-wise. I didn't eat more than I should have and I made good choices about what I ate for the most part. I also exercised, of which I'm doing more. The scale was kind this morning, showing a 3-pound loss. Yay!

I'm getting my T-tapp workouts going again. I did a 15 minute basic workout this morning and I was surprised how good it felt. I loved the stretches and I just felt really good when I was finished. Stronger and taller somehow. I'm going to try to incorporate them in as well as continue walking. I usually walk 1.5 miles. My goal right now is to walk every weekday and do T-tapp every day but Sunday.

Friday, August 1, 2008

And back up we go

This is crazy-making! Two pounds up today. I finally adjusted my ticker back up. I don't like doing that because I know that my weight will come right back down, but this week has been all over the place. So it's reading the right amount today.

To help this process along, I am really concentrating on making sure to stop eating when I get full--the early side of full. I think I have been eating more than I need to the last little while. I think it's important for Lapband patients to be able to eat enough food to sustain ourselves. Some of the banded people I know, either in real life or online have their bands restricting their intake so much that they can only eat a couple of bites before being full. While that's a fun phenomenon for a minute and certainly weight will come off, I don't think that is healthy. I believe that the proper fill (fill is the term for the band being filled with saline) amount allows you to eat a variety of healthy, nourishing foods. So far this is holding true for me. I've been able to eat small to regular sized meals and still lose weight. As the weight is doing weird things, I'm making sure that my size of meal isn't getting bigger than I need.

What I found today is that I'm able to stop and still feel full much sooner than I have been. I just need to pay closer attention to my body. I've been eating pretty much however much food I serve myself, cleaning my plate most times. Part of it is that I don't feel like being done eating just yet, so I continue eating as long as my band isn't complaining.

If I'm not careful, my surgeon said, I can stretch out the pouch a bite at a time. Just a little too much food this time, and then next time a little more, etc. Then you end up with your pouch stretched and able to hold more food than is appropriate for weight loss. So that's what originally made me think I needed to pay better attention to my food intake. Then the 2 pound gain this morning really solidified that lesson to me. So basically I'm taking my eating more seriously and paying closer attention to my hunger and full signals.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Coming back down

So after two days of careful eating, three of the four pounds are gone again. Phew. I'm amazed at how forgiving my body is when I go back to better eating.

I saw my surgeon today for the last time. He's leaving to move to Pittsburg. I'm okay with it since we'll be moving before too long, we hope. According to his records, I've lost 8 pounds in the last month. I'd prefer 10 a month, but I'm okay with 8.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ugh!

Well, in the last two days, my weight has jumped up four pounds. Three the first day and another one today. Made me do a double take. Jumps are rare for me, and a second day of a trend is not a good sign.

Now, this could be menstrual cycle related. It could be due to lack of bowel regularity. It could be water retention. But honestly I'll admit, the last three days have been a bit sloppy as far as eating goes. I've started eating too late, like not until 11 a.m., and then haven't stuck to trying to get my food in at the meal instead of all through the afternoon. I find that I'm still eating way later than is reasonable, right up till I go to bed. And my biggest problem--cookies!

We had some friends coming by to stay the night on Saturday. They're a big group, 8 of them, so I figured it would be nice to have some homemade cookies for them. I seldom bake goodies anymore, so whenever there's a chance for me to do so, share them, and only have a little bit left over, it's a good chance to do it.

I did okay on the first day, but we had them around for three days. The group wasn't Harrisons (in our younger years) or Elliotts (with all the boys), so there were cookies left over. ;)

It's not that cookies are inherently evil. If I'm eating well and want to enjoy a cookie or two after eating a good meal, that's not a problem for me. Somehow, having already eaten more cookies than I should have, put me in a lazy frame of mind and the rest of the day was sloppy eating as well. So now the cookies are gone and I'm starting over fresh this morning with logging my food intake and making smart choices. I haven't been logging my food intake at all since getting back from vacation. I use thedailyplate.com. It helps me be accountable for what is going in my mouth. If I know I'm going to log it, I'm less likely to make a bad choice.

I try to stick to these eating guidelines: Less than 100 g carbs, less than 20 g fat, though I'm happy with under 30 honestly, and 60-80 g of protein. This all totals around 1200 calories. I don't know how I'm doing on the guidelines if I'm not logging. Today is going really well.

So what have I learned from these last couple of days? I need to eat early in the day, not just let breakfast go until lunchtime. I need to get my water intake. Part of sloppy eating is also not getting enough water in.

Also, I need to better regulate my environment. I should have sent all the cookies with our friends, save 1 or 2 for each of us. I tried putting them in the freezer, but it was futile, because on a hot day, do you know how good a frozen chocolate chip cookie tastes? Yummy.

My surgeon recommends that we weigh ourselves every day for the rest of our lives. Because a course correction is much easier if you've only gained 5 pounds, verses 30 or 40, or even 100. I agree totally with this as of today. I know that some people, my mother included, have (or had) a hard time with the psychological game of weighing every day and it's hard for them to handle. If I ever get to the point that it's ruling my thoughts, or controlling what kind of day I'm having, I may consider backing off and weighing less often, like once a week. But for now, it's good.

Lots to ponder and learn from.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The miracle of the band continues!

As of this morning I have lost a whopping 80 pounds. Such an awesome number. 80. I've surpassed Rachel's weight by a couple of pounds. I'm so grateful to have been able to have this surgery and the help that the band gives me. I'm making better choices, but I'm still not perfect, so I know it's a huge part of my success. Yay!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Another two pounds

I'm in awe that the scale is moving so well right now. You know, on the lapband message boards, several people posted that when they are on a plateau, they eat poorly for a day or two, then go back to healthy eating and then the scale will move. Maybe I had some sort of phenomenon like that happen? Whatever the case, I'm very happy about it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Recovering from vacation eating

I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get back to normal healthy eating after my vacation. I'll admit, it's been hard. I'm having to use more willpower than normal to try to stop eating in between meals, and making healthier choices. But it's doable and it's working. My weight is going down again.

The net results of the trip are that at 3 days home, my weight is down 2 pounds from the day we left. So maybe all that exercise of the activities we did on the trip helped me not gain, and even continue on a downward trend. In any case, I'm so grateful to realize that I didn't ruin everything over the course of our vacation.

Monday, July 21, 2008

We are back!


We had such a nice trip. We got home on Friday morning after Brad pulling an all-nighter driving straight through. I'll post more about the trip on my journal-type blog. About my weight: it's been bouncing around a bit since being home, so I'm not sure exactly what the results of the trip were on my weight. Saturday, it appeared that I was the same weight as I was when I left, then yesterday, up three pounds then today back down two. That's weird for me since my weight is usually pretty stable day to day and I don't usually see big random fluctuations. So, somewhere between zero and three pounds is the result of our trip. I'm thinking there's some fluid retention playing a role in this. It'll even out after a couple of days, I'm sure.

On our last day of vacation, I hiked up a mountain! Totally not realizing what I was getting into, I agreed to hike the Timpanogos Cave trail with my family and Ladd and Kristine. Well, it was a doozie. Here's the illustration of the trail, found at the trailhead:

It was only about 1.2 miles, but we increased over 1000 feet of altitude during that time. First of all, the altitude made it harder to breathe, and second of all, I haven't gotten very fit yet, so it was like tackling a huge mountain (hee hee) out of the blue. Overall, I'm glad we did it and it was a very beautiful hike. I can hardly believe that I made it up that mountain. Last year that would not have been possible with the extra weight I had on me. That's our group in the first photo, minus Kristine who was behind the camera.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

I did it!

Unbelievable! This morning the scale shows that I've lost 75 pounds. I reached my goal of being there by the trip. It may only be a fleeting moment for now, since usually when I drop weight, it goes down a couple of pounds and then back up one. But the scale really did read 228 this morning. Brad says I only weigh 40 pounds more than he does. That is so cool. Yay!

Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm not a liar anymore!

I weigh exactly what my drivers' license says I do. Woo hoo! I don't think that's ever been the case before. I think I've always fudged the numbers by at least 20 or so.

Also, today I jumped over my halfway mark by a pound and a half. Onward and downward!

I'm only two pounds away from my goal of 75 pounds by the trip. We'll have to see if I make it. Either way, I'm feeling pretty good.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Played basketball!

Well, okay I shot some baskets, but I jumped a bit and ran around some. We had Family Home Evening last night and for our activity we shot baskets and rode bikes. Brad and I are borrowing a set of bikes from some friends here and we pumped up the tires and got them going yesterday. Mine doesn't have working brakes, so I only rode a short distance and very slowly at that.

It felt great to get out and do normal stuff. Yay!

Monday, June 23, 2008

75 pound goal

We're going to Utah in a couple of weeks and I'll see lots of people for the first time since my surgery. I'm hoping I can be down to where I've lost 75 pounds by then. Only 6 pounds to go. I guess I should exercise some more to help that out. I've been getting some walking in, but it's sporadic at best.

I'm feeling so good about myself these days. I enjoy getting dressed and doing my hair and makeup. I was told that I have sparkly eyes on Sunday. I was told you can't see that with my glasses on, but that my eyes sparkle without them. Nice compliment. :)

Still feeling blessed to be living my life every day.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

4.5 pounds to go until halfway!

I'm getting ever closer to that halfway mark. Soo exciting!

Monday, June 9, 2008

June progress pictures in regular clothes




Since the before outfit is getting baggy and you can't see all the differences in my body, here are some shots that same day in my regular clothes.

February to June Progress pictures